September 17-28, 2019
Yoga with Gigi Mao
Yoga with Gigi Mao
Venture through the mountains & jungles of the Land of the Himalayas
This 12-day venture takes us through the mountains & jungles of the land of the Himalayas. Experience temples & culture in Kathmandu, trek in the Annapurna circuit, visit the birthplace of Buddha, enjoy yoga & an Aryuveda wellness mini retreat, and learn about the ancient techniques of Thangka art. During our September 2019 dates we’ll have twice daily yoga with Austin-based instructor Gigi Mao.
Starting at $3495 per person
Upgrades & add-ons available
Mt. Everest, Bhutan, Sri Lanka
6 nights local 3-star hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara with 4-star boutique hotel upgrade option
1 night Lumbini boutique hotel
2 nights boutique mountain retreat cabin
2 nights trekking guest house
Domestic flights from Kathmandu-Lumbini-Pokhara
Airport transfers & transit between local excursions
Guided tour & entrance fees of Kathmandu valley to see Hindu & Buddhist cultural & UNESCO heritage sites including Durbar Square, Buddha Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple & more
Guided bicycle tour through Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha
Tea time with a monastery monk to learn more about Buddhism
Guided tour options in Pokhara Valley to see Devi’s Falls, Fewa Lake, Gupteshore Cave, Bindabashini Temple & more.
3 days, 2 nights trekking through terraced fields and local villages in the Annapurna mountain range (4-7 hours hiking daily) with all meals, assistant guide and porters
2-night retreat in Nagarkot with 4 yoga sessions, an Aryuvedic workshop, an included spa session, fresh healthy meals, optional hiking, and a peaceful mountain setting
September 2019 Dates: 2x daily yoga with Gigi Mao + meditation workshops
Daily breakfast + 6 dinners + 5 lunches
Thangka art workshop with our local community partner + donation to their organization
Dedicated Traverse host + local Nepali guide
Traverse representative assisting you from booking to departure
Small group experience, max 9 people
Optional add-ons including Mt. Everest Base Camp flight, Bhutan & Sri Lanka
Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
Welcome to the land of the Himalayas! Upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport, your driver will transfer you to your boutique hotel in the vibrant Thamel district. Settle in & rest up or explore this pedestrian-friendly area before our Nepalese Welcome Dinner of fantastic traditional cuisine and cultural education from our local guide, Kiran.
Day 2: Kathmandu & Patan Valley
After breakfast, we will explore the top cultural and historical sites in Kathmandu Valley. Our first stop will be the Swayambhunath Stupa - also known as the Monkey Temple - with 360 degrees of view of the Kathmandu Valley. The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa along with several shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period.
Next, we’ll visit the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, one of the most important Shiva shrines and the most important Hindu pilgrimage temple in Kathmandu. We’ll also watch cremation ceremonies, an important tradition in Nepali culture, along the holy Bagmati River.
After, we will visit Boudhanath, the biggest Buddhist stupa in Nepal situated in a colorful village replete with shops, huge prayer wheels and multitudes of chanting devotees. After lunch, we will visit Patan, the royal palace square that consists of 16th century pagodas and temples that are undergoing meticulous restoration after the devastating 2015 earthquake.
The evening is yours to rest, explore and enjoy many cuisine options in Thamel, including Nepali, Indian, Thai and much more.
Day 3: Lumbini
After breakfast we’ll take a quick 45-min domestic flight followed by a short drive to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. We’ll hop on bikes to visit the Maya Devi Temple, built in the 2nd century and dedicated to Buddha’s mother. We’ll also visit the Ashoka Pillar, built in 259 BC by King Ashok. When he constructed this pillar, the King exempted the villagers from paying tax and gave out 100 golden coins to the people. There are 10 different Buddhist stupas in this area, made by different countries with different monks. Each monastery has a unique architectural design and surrounding gardens.
In the evening, we’ll enjoy tea time with local monks to learn more about Buddhism before a delicious meal on-site at our local hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Pokhara
After breakfast we’ll drive back to the airport and take a domestic flight to Pokhara, a vibrant, lakeside town at the base of the Annapurna mountain range. Take time to walk around and choose from many fantastic lunch options before our afternoon boatride on Fewa Lake to the Barahi Temple for sunset. For dinner, choose from the many different world cuisines in town and take a lakeside stroll where locals gather after work.
Day 5: Pokhara Free Day
Today is a free day to explore the many sites Pokhara has to offer. Check out the market, take a lakeside walk, or shop for fabrics, teas, or singing bowls. We’ll have optional guided tours to Devi’s Falls, the Gupteswor Gupha sacred cave, Bindabashini Temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, the Old Bazaar and the Mountain Museum, devoted to the mountains of Nepal and the mountaineers who climbed them. Inside you can see original gear from many of the first Himalayan ascents, as well as displays on the history, culture, geology and flora and fauna of the Himalayas.
Tonight, get packed up for our 2-night trek. You’ll just bring the gear you need, and the rest you’ll be able to leave at your hotel in Pokhara.
Day 6: Trek to Ghandruk
After an early breakfast we’ll transfer to Nayapul where our adventure in the Annapurna foothills starts! The first two hours of walking are along the riverside with villages and farming lands to Syauli Bazaar where the trail takes you uphill through the terrace, farming areas, local villages and natural surroundings. After a final uphill leg we’ll arrive at Ghandruk, one of the biggest local villages of this area with spectacular sunset views.
Hiking: 5-6 hours, 6500 feet elevation
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: trek to Potana
Awake to impressive sunrise views of Annapurna South (23,661 feet), Hiunchuli (21,132 feet) & Fishtail (22,943 feet) and a delicious mountain breakfast. From Ghandruk, we'll trek straight down to Modi River valley, across the river then uphill through terraced land to Landruk, followed by easy walking through local villages, forested hills and Himalayan terraces to Tolkha for lunch. From here, the trail heads up to a forested hill, known as Deurali, before we reach Potana. After a tea break, we’ll have a last, short leg to our camp atop a hill with great views of Annapurna ranges as well as the Dhawalagiri Himalayan ranges on clear days. Enjoy dinner & Nepali tea under the stars before a good nights’ rest.
Hiking: 6-7 hours, 7,021 feet elevation
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: return to PokharA
Enjoy sunrise views of Dhaulagiri (26,794 feet), Annapurna I (26,542 feet), Annapurna South (23,661 feet), Hiunchuli (21,132 feet) & Fishtail (22,943 feet). From camp, we'll have a short hike down to Kande through forested hills before driving back to Pokhara. The afternoon is yours to rest & recuperate. Consider a massage at our boutique hotel spa, paddle board on the lake, or get some shopping in for Nepali mementos.
Day 9: Nagarkot & Thangka Art
After breakfast, we’ll take a short domestic flight back to Kathmandu, where we’ll head to Buddha to visit our community partner, a Thangka painting school. We’ll learn about this unique art style from a local master and its importance in Buddhism and Nepal. In the afternoon we’ll drive to Nagarkot for a post-trekking retreat in a gorgeous mountain setting overlooking the valley. We’ll have optional yoga in the evening with sunset views of Langang and the northeast Himalyan range.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Nagarkot Yoga & Aryuveda workshop
Today is retreat-style, with a full program of yoga, an Aryuvedic workshop to learn about traditional medicinal practices, an individual spa session, meditation and plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful gardens & grounds with optional hiking in the surrounding area. Meals served here are fresh & cleansing, with fantastic vegetarian cuisine and local teas.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Kathmandu & Farewell Dinner
This morning we’ll take our time back in to Kathmandu with a stop in the cultural village of Bhaktapur. Take the afternoon for final shopping & explorations in Thamel or other parts of the city. We’ll reconvene in the evening for a special farewell dinner and closing to the trip.
Meals: B, D
Day 12: Departure
Depart any time today or add on a Mt. Everest Base Camp flight or trip to Tibet or Bhutan.
september 2019 yoga retreat Trip Price:
$3495 per person, double occupancy
+$495 per person, single occupancy "my own room" option
4-star Upgrade option:
Boutique 4-star hotel upgrade option in Kathmandu & Pokhara:
Base +350 per person, double occupancy
Base +995 per person, single occupancy ("my own room" for the whole trip)
What’s the difference? Our base package hotels are clean, safe, and no-frills. Our boutique hotels excel in classic architecture, gorgeous art & decorations, handcrafted furniture and overall ambiance. The Pokhara hotel has an on-site pool & spa and the Kathmandu hotel a beautiful courtyard. If you like a bit of decadence in your accommodations, this upgrade is for you!
Add-on options are available for after the trip with our fantastic, local guides. Please click to download info sheet and contact us with any additional questions.
Mt. Everest Base Camp Flight - $350 per person, 1-day excursion
Sri Lanka - $850 per person, double occupancy, 5-day excursion
Bhutan - $1995 per person, single occupancy; $1695 per person, double occupancy, 5-day excursion
Trip Does Not Include:
Additional meals, excursions and activities not listed
Alcohol, unless specified
Required travel insurance
About Your Traverse Host:
Ashley Blakeis an avid traveler, cultural consultant and Traverse Journeys founder with a background in tourism, entrepreneurship and project management. She is a fluent Spanish speaker with conversational Portuguese skills and is just starting to study Arabic. Ashley has worked and traveled in 45 countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa including tours she has designed and led in Spain, Germany, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Morocco, Croatia and China.
Ashley is passionate about connection, communication and coordination in order to link others with the opportunities and experiences that promote self-growth and community engagement.
Ashley traveled Nepal with our guide Kiran in 2018 and immediately saw the beauty of the country's culture, history, and incredible natural surroundings.
ABOUT YOUR Guides:
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to registration for complete terms.
A $250 non-refundable deposit is required for each traveler to secure the booking.
Payments can be made either by 1) full payment on booking 2) $250 deposit on booking + payment schedule per registration. Payments will be invoiced via e-mail for credit card or Paypal payment online. To pay by check, please indicate on registration and make check payable to Traverse Journeys and send to PO Box 40516, Austin, TX 78704.
$250 deposit due on booking. 50% remainder due 30 days after initial invoice. Balance due 30 days prior to trip start.
Cancellations, less the deposit ($250), are refundable up to 90 days before trip start date.
Trip protection-style travel insurance that includes travel medical coverage is required for all trips with Traverse. The coverage must have a minimum $200,000 of medical coverage and include injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation. Most domestic US health insurance plans do not cover international travel claims or provide a global network of contracted doctors and facilities. We want to make sure you are covered in case of an emergency or non-emergency illness or injury while abroad. Trip protection coverage protects the investment of your trip, including benefits for items such as trip interruption, trip cancellation, delays, baggage and personal effects, and more. We do not have a required coverage amount, but typically coverage is based on your trip costs. We partner with Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider who can offer both Travel Medical and Trip Protection. If you choose to purchase through Wanderwell, you can buy the trip protection directly from our Traverse Journeys partner page provided in your Welcome Pack, and a portion of your purchase will be donated to WeForest through 1% For the Planet to aid with carbon offset for your trip. With Wanderwell, the TripProtector Classic and TripProtector Preferred plans meet our minimum requirements for coverage. Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided.
Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.